By David Highfield

LEECHBURG (KDKA) — Pennsylvania State Police say that a chaperone driving a group of high school seniors home from a trip allegedly smoked marijuana with the teens.

Frederick Ulmer III, 33, of Leechburg, Armstrong County, is the youth awareness chairman at the Moose Lodge in Leechburg.

He and another chaperone took seven teenagers from the Leechburg area across the state in November for a Moose scholarship program and the incident allegedly happened on the return trip on Interstate 80.

“He’s totally denying that any of this ever occurred,” said Chuck Pascal, Ulmer’s attorney. “Absolutely not. He never smoked pot on this trip. He never even knew that there was pot in the vehicle.”

Police say one of the students got permission from Ulmer to smoke marijuana and that some students, who are minors, smoked as well and that Ulmer allegedly joined them.

A second chaperone is also charged for allegedly assisting in the incident, but police don’t explain how.

Pascal says it makes no sense. “The whole goal of that particular program was an anti-drug message to students.”

Police say a female student told her mom about the alleged drug use, and in January, the mother contacted Lenape Vocational Technical School which launched its own investigation. State police were contacted last month.

“I’m not quite sure what motivated the accusations, but I have a few suspicions,” said Pascal. “I think this case is a little more complicated than it looks on the surface.”

The Moose Lodge in Leechburg had no comment.

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